Britain Family Feud

A party splits, a party is born

After months of wrangling, the Social Democratic Party dismembered itself last week. At the University of Sheffield in central England, party delegates voted 273 to 28 to merge with the nearly twice as large Liberal Party. The two centrist groups had been partners under the Alliance banner since 1981, and began talking merger when their candidates won only 22 of 650 seats in last year's parliamentary elections. But while their formal marriage was intended to strengthen future showings, it sealed a bitter divorce between the Social Democrats and former Leader David Owen, who co-founded the party in 1981. Arguing that the...

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